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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Deep-well irrigation dries up kid-fishing opportunities

Bobber fishing is a hit with kids. (File)
Bobber fishing is a hit with kids. (File)

FISHING -- In recent weeks I've explored some of the fishing and hunting ramifications of water management in Washington, especially the unsustainable impacts of deep-well irrigation in central Washington.

While listing the loss of water and fishing opportunity in Pacific Lake and other waters, I failed to mention one other troubling example.

The 2015 Wild Goose Bill Days celebration in Wilbur, Washington, had to cancel its children's fishing derby in May because the local organizers could not fill the area behind the town's dam to accommodate the trout they'd purchased. Volunteer Wally Kluver explained in an email.

"In short, there was not enough water coming down the creek to have the fishing derby. This has happened before and we were able to draw off enough water from the town supply to provide enough water to have the event.

"Our town water was some 80 feet below normal level and therefore we had to cancel the fishing derby.

"This may be happening all over the pacific Northwest. As you are well aware the "potholes" that use to all over this area have dried up many years ago. Their names are mostly forgotten. Places like "Wagner Lake" that we used to ice skate on in the winter dried up years ago. Many stories and many changes."

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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